Difference between revisions of "718: The Flake Equation"

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
(384)
(Transcript: added transcript)
Line 16: Line 16:
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==
:
+
The Flake Equation:
 +
 
 +
P = W<sub>P</sub> &times; (C<sub>R</sub> + M<sub>I</sub>) &times; T<sub>K</sub> &times; F<sub>0</sub> &times; F<sub>1</sub> &times; D<sub>T</sub> &times; A<sub>U</sub> &#8776; 100,000
 +
 
 +
Where:
 +
: W<sub>P</sub> = World Population (7,000,000)
 +
: C<sub>R</sub> = Fraction of people who imagine an alien encounter because they're crazy or want to feel special (1/10,000)
 +
: M<sub>I</sub> = Fraction of people who misinterpret a physical or physiological experience as an alien sighting (1/10,000)
 +
: T<sub>K</sub> = Probability that they'll tell someone (1/10)
 +
: F<sub>0</sub> = Average number of people they tell
 +
: F<sub>1</sub> = Average number of people each friend tells this "firsthand" account
 +
: D<sub>T</sub> = Probability that any details not fitting the narrative will be revised or forgotten in retelling (9/10)
 +
: A<sub>U</sub> = Fraction of people with the means and motivation to share the story with a wider audience (blogs, forums, reporters)
 +
 
 +
Caption: Even with conservative guesses for the values of the variables, this suggests there must be a ''huge'' number of credible-sounding alien sightings out there, available to anyone who wants to believe!
  
 
{{comic discussion}}
 
{{comic discussion}}
 
[[Category:Math]]
 
[[Category:Math]]

Revision as of 16:36, 21 September 2013

The Flake Equation
Statistics suggest that there should be tons of alien encounter stories, and in practice there are tons of alien encounter stories. This is known as Fermi's Lack-of-a-Paradox.
Title text: Statistics suggest that there should be tons of alien encounter stories, and in practice there are tons of alien encounter stories. This is known as Fermi's Lack-of-a-Paradox.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect:
Please include the reason why this explanation is incomplete, like this: {{incomplete|reason}}

If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

The Flake equation is a parody of the Drake equation, which estimates the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the galaxy.

The title text refers to Fermi's Lack-of-a-Paradox as a parody of the Fermi paradox: the contradiction between the high estimated probability of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity's lack of evidence for such civilizations.

Another comic parodying this equation is 384: The Drake Equation.

Transcript

The Flake Equation:

P = WP × (CR + MI) × TK × F0 × F1 × DT × AU ≈ 100,000

Where:

WP = World Population (7,000,000)
CR = Fraction of people who imagine an alien encounter because they're crazy or want to feel special (1/10,000)
MI = Fraction of people who misinterpret a physical or physiological experience as an alien sighting (1/10,000)
TK = Probability that they'll tell someone (1/10)
F0 = Average number of people they tell
F1 = Average number of people each friend tells this "firsthand" account
DT = Probability that any details not fitting the narrative will be revised or forgotten in retelling (9/10)
AU = Fraction of people with the means and motivation to share the story with a wider audience (blogs, forums, reporters)

Caption: Even with conservative guesses for the values of the variables, this suggests there must be a huge number of credible-sounding alien sightings out there, available to anyone who wants to believe!


comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

Anybody notice that the real product of the numbers he gives is 6.3 (10), not 100,000? 02:32, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

No, it's not - you've multiplied Cr and Mx when you should have added them. The real product is 126,000 = 100,000. 162.158.69.51

There was a later comic about our capabilities' precluding of UFO sightings and such. I may find it at some point. --Quicksilver (talk) 02:51, 20 August 2013 (UTC)


Settled

googlesearch=site:explainxkcd.com ufo

http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1235:_Settled

Kevin McCready (talk) 13:25, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Is there any significance to the word "flake"? Urban Dictionary says it stands for "unreliable person", but certainly not in context of alien sightings. --162.158.90.217 13:34, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

 It's a portmanteau of "Drake" and "Fake". --172.68.10.94 10:58, 4 February 2017 (UTC)